Monday, May 18, 2020
Arizona, USA
(Congratulations to the US Class of 2020)

n spite of the horrendous socio-political and economic difficulties at my homelands (Nigeria and the USA), occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, the motivational piece below is a moral tonic to my contemporary Nigerian-Americans and Nigerians at home who are in the struggle of exhibiting their talents, and exploring the future together!

The article below is dedicated to the "US Class of 2020" and their struggling Nigerian counterparts. In this difficult and pandemic time, keep having faith, and believing in the power of your ideal and ideas. You are a magnificent representation of your generation and the progress of the world.

Here is a recipe to keep you moving:

A few weeks ago, I was invited to watch a Livestream of a dissertation (Doctoral degree-Ph.D.) defense and presentation in one of the prestigious universities in Europe. The Livestream was initiated away from the usual University tradition of the dissertations as a result of the pandemic of Coronavirus. The young man who was recently "conscripted" into the universal body of higher knowledge with a rare Ph.D. is an amiable young and disciplined Nigerian. I will keep the young Nigerian's name in my cognitive vault to honor his wishes. The public will get to know him in the nearest future. The young Nigerian has profound developmental and researched publications and articles in international journals. His academic works were supervised by an astute Professor and evaluated by renowned scholars across the world.

Meanwhile, as the approximately two hours' dissertation time lasted, I was spellbound, mesmerized, and blown away by the dynamism and articulation of the young Nigerian who presented his dissertation for the award of his Doctorate. Apart from the substance and imports of this young man's dissertation, the mannerism of the young Nigerian presenter and the accolades he received from the panel (dissertation board members from across some Universities in Europe and the United States in the Ph.D. defense) that doubled as his Professors and opponents is something to cheer and muse.

The impulsive response and goosebumps I received from the young Doctoral degree holder’s presentation got me stoked. The COVID-19 induced Live Streaming created a great and lasting impression on my mind. His delivery of the dissertation and his answers to prodding questions from his cross-examiners and opponents (Professors) were illuminating to knowledge inquisitors and insatiable minds. His simple answers to some tactical questions were also concise, clear, and impactful. The Chairperson of the dissertation, who is also the President of the university literally and openly, begged the young Nigerian to stay in their university community (to be gainfully employed) to contribute to the development of the citadel of learning and society. This is a young Nigerian and African from a humble background. He left the shores of his country without any tangible assistance in search of knowledge to benefit mankind, and he brilliantly distinguished himself.

Furthermore, the brilliant young Nigerian is just a macrocosm and representation of other hapless Diaspora Nigerians who have toiled, persevered, and suffered in a dysfunctional Nigerian state. He is among those Nigerians who have single-handedly used their resources to research into the body of universal knowledge. There are so many substrata and underpinnings behind the success stories of these young Nigerians.

Right now, as we read this piece, there are some Nigerians who are struggling to get financial assistance or aid from the government in pursuit of their educational careers without success. Ultimately, these Nigerians may be lucky to get foreign aids and scholarships to pursue their education; at the end of their academic pursuit, they will be wooed and cajoled to come back to a society that refused to assist them. The dystopian society would always want them to come back to contribute to society.

Moreover, if the Nigerian leadership and followership can get it right, Nigeria’s tomorrow (the future) is not far-fetched; today’s Nigeria (present) is being intentionally or inadvertently mismanaged by its myopic leadership. Nigerian intellectual citizens seat comfortably at the pedestal of highly cerebral intellectuals and literati in the world. Nigerians at home and abroad are making a quantum leap into the future. But the impediments of Nigeria are the result of the selfishness of her leaders and the aimlessness of their followers.

As an incurable optimist, I see that Nigerians are endowed with strong cognition and sometimes with the love of paradox carried beyond imagination. The paradox that lies on the surface of our human capital and nature is pathetic but beneath the surface are talents that are highly celebratory, and that is if Nigerians get their acts together. I wish time tells us in favorable ways!

On behalf of other responsible Nigerians to the good ambassador, I congratulate this brand new Ph.D. holder in the bank of universal knowledge of academia, and also congratulate the US Class of 2020.